Recent posts by issendorf on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Iran Nuclear Deal

Anytime, anywhere inspections, continued economic sanctions, return of American hostages, framework for enforcement, etc. Really, a deal that actually prevents Iran from getting a nuke – something the President himself has said this deal won’t do; it will merely delay Iran’s nuclear bomb by 10 years with the assumption that Iran won’t cheat. When Iran inevitably cheats, that timeline will accelerate.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Iran Nuclear Deal

Remarkably, in the span of one paragraph, we have the President saying “I welcome debate on the deal,” while quickly adding that he’ll veto anything preventing the deal. If one didn’t know any better, it’s almost like he’s lying through his teeth and doesn’t want anyone to actually debate the substance of the deal. How stunning!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Iran Nuclear Deal

This is all you really need to know about the deal:

We will have anywhere, anytime inspections. – April, 2015

JK! We never wanted anywhere, anytime inspections. – July, 2015.

Just when you thought the Obama Administration couldn’t become any more inept, they just continue to be committed to proving you wrong.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Distribution of Wealth

Originally posted by stanwise:

Let’s see if I can add some numbers to this conversation. I found an article saying that all the wealth in the world comes to $75 trillion, and there are about 7 billion people alive, so that comes to about $10,700 per person. (I’m using money as a measure of resources because it’s a convenient metric, not because I think it wholly encompasses what resources and are.)

$75t seems like a super low estimate. Just last year, Credit Suisse estimated global wealth would be $369t by 2019 (they assume 7% average global growth over the next five years). Assuming global population of 7.5b in 2019, my back of the napkin math gives an average of $49,200.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Effects of Increasing Minimum Wage. Is it good or bad?

You don’t think people who work should be able to not be in poverty? Keep in mind that many of the people on minimum wage work two or more jobs and work more than 40 hours a week.

Let’s clear something up: Only 3% of workers over the age of 25 earn the minimum wage (numbers as of 2013). Two-thirds work part-time. This isn’t a massive number of folks that are slaving away at minimum wage while trying to feed their seven children.

Now to your question – I don’t think anyone who wants to work should have to reside in poverty. But the minimum wage isn’t the tool to do it. The minimum wage is itself a tax on labor and when you tax something, you get less of it. That’s partly why when the minimum wage was raised in 2007-09, average wages fell for low-skill workers. A much better strategy for those 3% would be expansion of the EITC – something that actually helps poor, unskilled workers.

Do you have any sort of source for this? By percentage, the majority of workers are not higher up the corporate ladder. And I really don’t believe management has improved so much that a minority can more than double productivity levels.

Most of the minimum wage workers are in hospitality, restaurant and retail industries. If we look at average productivity from 1987-2012, output increased by 3% annually. If we look at fast food restaurants, productivity increased by .6% over that period. Other service sectors had similar, stagnant levels of increased productivity.

When you’ve built yourself into a system that works by cutting costs through shafting employee wages, of course there’s going to be an issue if nothing else changes.

From 1987-2012, fast food workers compensation rose 5.1% annually, far outpacing their lack of increased productivity. That’s hardly “shafting employee wages.” The BLS doesn’t directly report what the productivity of minimum wage workers is, so the only real alternative is to investigate what happened within individual sectors.

In other words, a bunch of studies concluded that a very small decrease was noted and many of which were not even statistically significant. Which I would summarize as, “What you see is a relative no change in jobs whatsoever – workers just end up being paid more.”

The number of studies that showed negative employment effects of minimum wages far outweighed those that weren’t statistically significant.

I also inherently dislike any study that doesn’t show data. This one is a bunch of words that are very subjectively stated. I’m not saying they’re incorrect (it’s what I said earlier) but it’s painful to read.

It’s very painful to read, but it’s the best source I could find that analyzed a large number of minimum wage studies.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

How can an individual increase ‘productivity’ flipping burgers unless they grow an extra 2 pair of limbs?

I’m not arguing with you. Kasic is the one proclaiming that these people have become far more productive yet aren’t seeing higher wages. I merely stated that the people who want $15 hour aren’t contributing to greater productivity and as such, aren’t terribly deserving from an economic perspective of higher wages.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

They are when they all report back to a conglomerate entity. You contradict yourself in the next line where you say they have to payback loans to corporate. Franchises are still part of corporations, having to follow company policies and rules.

Franchises set the wages of their employees, not corporate.

It’s not that they can’t. It’s that they don’t want to. And for places that actually can’t, it’s because of over-saturation of the market and this unhealthy system we’ve built ourselves into where businesses can only function if they’re paying absurdly low wages to their workers so they can keep the cost down on their product to compete with other huge corporations.

Fast food restaurants work off of 6-8% profit margins. This may come as a shock to you (and based on your apparent complete lack of understanding how the franchise system works, it will), but they actually can’t just suddenly swallow a doubling of labor costs.

Or they’re all lying about their financial ability to actually do it. That seems way more plausible.

If someone is working 40 hours or more a week, they shouldn’t be in poverty struggling to afford food and put their children through school.

This isn’t a reason for raising the minimum wage. It is, however, an excuse to pat yourself on the back to make you feel better about an opinion that isn’t based in reality (because it won’t work and won’t help those people).

Want reasons for raising the minimum wage? Circulation of money is what makes an economy grow. Without consumers to purchase products you don’t have an economy. If wealth stagnates at the top, where people just play with the concept of money to make risky investments that lose out big, we get depressions. If worker wage had kept up with the increase in worker productivity, minimum wage would be over $20 dollars today. But no, instead all that growth has gone to places other than the workers.

And their living expenses would be nearly 3x as high. That kind of negates that whole higher minimum wage, don’t you think?

This is just incorrect.

The truth hurts.

People always make the argument that raising the minimum wage will cause job loss, and historically that hasn’t been the case. What you see is a relative no change in jobs whatsoever – workers just end up being paid more.

“This is just incorrect.” This study examined 100 minimum studies and found more than 2/3 of the time, raising the minimum wage led to job loss. Most of the times when it didn’t were during periods of economic booms that could swallow the negative effects of the higher minimum wage. Unfortunately, since we have an administration that is bound and determined to implement anti-growth policies, we’ve endured the worst post-recession recovery since the Great Depression and aren’t really in a position to be able to weather a minimum wage hike without negative repercussions.

Please tell me how people are supposed to develop better skills when it’s impossible to survive on part time jobs, much less pay for college effectively while working if you aren’t lucky enough to have the money to begin with?

Don’t go to a four-year college. Go to a tech school or a community college where tuition is much, much cheaper and you only have to finance two years of school. PRESTO! You’re skilled for manufacturing jobs and other blue-collar jobs that desperately need skilled people and you’re making really good wages.

For example, there’s a big shortage of welders in this country and they, consequently, get paid quite well. You don’t have to be saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to become a welder. This troubling myth that you have to spend oodles of money at a four-year college to get a good job needs to die. It’s merely a crutch for those who are largely unwilling to go out and work to improve their professional situation.

Here’s a graph for you. Go ahead, try to justify why workers don’t deserve more payment. Also note that, not uncoincidentally, the 1970’s was when Reagan instituted top down/supply side economics, the model we’re still following that favors businesses over workers.

That productivity isn’t being produced by the lowest skilled workers who would be covered by a higher minimum wage – it’s by people higher up on the corporate ladder. The people who are making minimum wage aren’t contributing to higher levels of productivity – their productivity is largely plateaued. The person flipping burgers at McDonalds is essentially at the same level of productivity as they were in the 1970s.

And Reagan became President in 1981 which the last time I checked wasn’t actually in the 1970s.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

Y’know, about a year ago I learned that this local grocery chain called Market Basket has a policy where if an employee works for them for years, even as a cashier, they’ll be paid substantially more than the minimum wage, according to Wikipedia full-time clerks even start out at $12 dollars an hour. I get that there are some terrible employees out there, but because the company rewarded this kind of loyalty in their employees so well, they started to protest for their old CEO back when he was fired. Partially because the person to replace him wanted to cut their pay, but also because the old CEO was able to build loyalty and was actually able to get his employees to like him.

And that’s an awesome story and that’s great that a company would go out of their way to take care of their employees. You know what’s even better? They didn’t do it because the government didn’t impose an artificial minimum wage on them – they did to keep their employees because paying the higher wage more than justified the high turnover rates that a lower wage would have produced. Again, the government is largely irrelevant in this role, and this still doesn’t change the fact that raising the minimum wage does far more harm than good.

The only reason this is happening is because people feel, one way or another, that they’re not getting paid enough, and they believe, even though these corporations are fully able to give them raises (and they are!

Then don’t take the job. The McDonalds cashier may think he’s worth $15/hour, but if no entity in the marketplace actually believes that position warrants paying $15, then those employees who believe they’re underpaid are probably wrong.

I honestly think we’re going to need to have a serious discussion about whether we slow down automatization for the sake of employing more people, or saying screw it and get machines to do nearly all of our work for us, getting rid of the need for human jobs altogether.

No, people just need to develop better skills. More of a focus on apprenticeships, community colleges and tech schools will get low-skilled workers the abilities needed to get a job. There are oodles of high-skill positions available now that pay great money due to the fact there is a complete lack of workers capable of filling them.

So I did a bit of research and it seems that that hike would bring the minimum wage back up to its 1968 peak.

That’s mostly the result of 1) an 8 year economic expansion 2) sharply rising wages and 3) the largest increase in employment during an economic expansion. None of those things apply to 2015.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

That’s part of the thing, though. Say what you will about the quality of the work some people do, the point of working is to get money to live off of.

Workers have to produce to a level that justifies their wages, and there is pretty much no one outside of managerial staff that produces to a level that warrants a $15/hour paycheck.

Then the problem with the wages people get is exacerbated when their not even allowed to work. Seriously, there are people out there who have to work two part-time jobs because neither will let them work more.

Because higher costs for goods and services and a reduced number of jobs will really be a boon for minimum wage workers. You know – the two things that are almost guaranteed when you significantly raise the minimum wage.

Seriously, there are people out there who have to work two part-time jobs because neither will let them work more.

At the end of the day, businesses are for-profit entities, not charities, and if they don’t make a profit, then there’s no business to employ. Whether it’s higher costs for products or fewer hours, the business has to deal with a double in their labor costs somehow. But hey, I’m sure those 500,000 people that the CBO predicted would lose jobs from the proposed hike to $10.10 (likely in the millions of lost jobs for a $15 minimum wage) will love that theoretical $15/hour wage they’ll receive at a hypothetical job that’s now handled by an iPad.

Although, speaking of McDonalds, they’re apparently Raising their wages above the minimum wage, so that’s nice. It shows how corporations were treating the minimum wage like the required wage, but still it’s a nice effort.

I’m glad you’ve discovered the fact that companies raise wages without being mandated to do so by the federal government. It’s almost like wages increase without government involvement. Who knew?!

I’d say raise the minimum wage to account for inflation, it’s not like our economy’s doing much better than it was in the 70’s.

Yeah, let’s compound the problems of raising the minimum wage to make it even more economically crippling for the people it’s designed to help. What could possibly go wrong?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

All of the corporate entities that employ the vast majority of minimum wage workers (fast food, walmart, starbucks, etc) can afford to pay their employees $15 an hour minimum, easily. Go look at their profits.

Fast food entities, which are the epicenter of this whole issue, are largely franchises. Franchises aren’t multi-national corporations. They’re small businesses and work on small profit margins, often in the 6-8% range in addition to having to pay for pretty much all of their overhead and payback loans on their restaurants to corporate. They’ve pretty consistently have said that they will have to cut jobs/hours if a $15 minimum wage is enacted. Others are researching investing into computers and robots to perform the positions instead. McDonalds corporate only owns 11% of stores in the U.S.

Perhaps Starbucks and WalMart can afford to pay more, but it’s pretty unlikely that the majority of their labor deserves $15/hour. Raising the minimum wage because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside is quite possibly the worst and most inane reason for making an economic decision.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

Actually, if/when he pushes that law through, everyone will have to be paid a minimum of that amount, including those interns. Unless of course you have some evidence his staff will be immune to countrywide laws?

Contrary to popular belief, legislating a $15 minimum wage doesn’t in fact magically make entities capable of paying a $15 minimum wage. Several of those interns will receive $0 because they’ll be out of a job. Now, I believe most Congresspeople don’t pay their interns anything (I was paid nothing by the Republican Party of Wisconsin during a 9 month internship), so he deserve some credit for paying his interns anything. But, he isn’t fighting for 12. He’s fighting for 15. And apparently, based on his own standards, he’s part of the problem.

Furthermore, in Seattle, government entities are exempt and the largest employer, the University of Washington, is claiming that they also fit into this exempt category. So the idea that all of these devout liberal causes will also be paying the wages they want everyone else to bear the burden of finances seems unlikely.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

These would be more damning criticisms if he didn’t openly refer to himself as a democratic socialist and didn’t have the amount the interns get paid listed in an FAQ.

You know who also can’t afford to pay a $15 minimum wage? The companies he’d force it on. Only one of them is a bloviating hypocrite (Hint: it’s the one who cosplays as Doc Brown). He’s in good company at least, the Working America dolts also pay less than $15 and Seattle’s Socialist Party wants a $20 minimum wage but only pays $13.

“$15 minimum wage for thee, but not for me.” should be his new campaign slogan.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

As for distinguishing the GOP candidates, this is, by far, the best I’ve seen.

This probably belongs in the pro column, not the con. Yes it’s hard for those who grew up in the imperial system to change, but the newer generations don’t have that problem, and it is the standardised system in use in science for a reason – it’s simple to calculate with and is standardised.

It’s basically the only interesting idea any of the candidates (from either party) has proposed.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

1) Clinton is proposing a capital gains tax structure similar to what came out of the 1930s. So progressive of her to channel fiscal policies that are 80 years old!

2) Bernie Sanders is a socialist. He wants a $15 minimum wage, although he’d also like you to ignore the fact that he only pays his interns $12 an hour. He may or may not own a comb.

3) Martin O’Malley walked back the super controversal statement that “All lives matter.” Apparently only some lives matter. Which ones don’t matter remains to be seen.

4) Lincoln Chafee wants to go metric.

5) Jim Webb is basically a Republican. I think. I’m actually not sure what a Jim Webb is.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

Possibly cataclysmic, but amazing.

The threat of cataclysmic events is one of the biggest reasons I hope his campaign lasts forever. So much intrigue!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

And I’m going to vote for Bernie Sanders. I thought you might enjoy that, issendorf. In fact, I’m going to vote for him twice.

I’m sure voting for him in the primary and then writing him in on the 2016 general election (hopefully you live in an early primary state – his campaign isn’t going to last long once it gets going since racial minorities have no use for him) will make quite the difference.

We hate him for being an asshat.

Hey, that’s why we hate the President! Who knew Obama and Brownback were so alike?!

Doesn’t believe in evolution.

“If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true.” – Sam Brownback.

God knows how many other factual errors this list contains.

Pro flag.

I can totally see why this would rustle your jimmies.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

And then, perhaps a lot of those Democratic seats were lost simply because of the utter distortion of the truth …. ya know, just like how YOU distort my position (in bold above).

Sure, karma. Whatever you say. It’s good you’ve got your excuse lined up in case Hillary gets walloped next November.

My position on those who oppose Gay marriage (I like how you twist it to be a man/woman = marriage issue) is entirely subjective and contextual ….. AS I HAVE STATEDOFTEN.

But, for the most part, I’d say that given a SUBJECTIVE stance on the issue does have—for most ppl who are in favor of EXTENDING the concept of marriage to Gays—a particular odious aroma of bigotry & homophobia.

I say that because I NEVER saw much of anything else being used as a credible argument against Gay marriage …. esp. as something that could be applied against the many arguments FOR it.

Please cite one instance when you conceded an opposition to SSM wasn’t grounded in hate. That shouldn’t be too hard for you to do since I’ve so blatantly distorted your position.

Lest YOU manage to forget: I am a social “liberal” AND a fiscal “conservative”.
It is the nutbag social “conservatives” that are the true problematic issue that are hysterically assfucking the U.S. I can’t help but wonder if such craziness isn’t something like that which took over Germany pre-WII.

You call for higher taxes, more government spending and have a strange love obsession with labor unions. You hate Sam Brownback, probably the most fiscally conservative governor in the country. You’re not a fiscal conservative. Unless you haven’t yet come out of the closet as a lover of Reaganomics?

Maybe what Pete is saying is that NOT ALL “conservatives” are dullards; just the ones that post on SD …. eh?

Yeah, that’s probably also inferred in his post. Don’t worry, I’ve moved on from that sick burn.

But, the way YOU luv to twist things isn’t anything new on SD … now is it?.
And, this is pretty much the consensus about how a lot of “conservatives” DO OPERATE on most issues … ala Fox News, et.al.

Maybe if we had some RATIONAL “conservatives” on SD, we could have some interesting dialogue.
It is one thing to have a legitimate viewpoint; it is quite another to embellish it w/ bullshit and delude self into believing it to be the Word of God … esp. to the point that the belief is even detrimental to self. lol

Yeah, maybe one day David Brooks will post on here and you can all agree how nasty Republicans are. SOUNDS LIKE A HOOT, although it wouldn’t be much different than the current echochamber that exists here.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

The reason so many of SD patrons have “almost identical” political and religious views is because that’s what so many people in the world have. (The conservatives would have you believe that they are the “silent majority” but we all know what they actually are is the “geriatric few.”)

Lol – this is just not based in reality.

Since the Democratic Messiah took office in 2009, here’s how Dems have done nationally:

-Lost 13 Senate seats
-Lost 69 House seats (net losses in Congress unmatched by a modern Pres)
-Lost 11 governorships
-Lost 4 AGs
-Lost 910 state legislative seats
-Lost majorities in 30 state legislative bodies

Barack Obama’s general shittiness as a President has really been quite the boon for conservatives. Thanks Mr. President!

To the OP: People don’t like talking with others who disagree with their own views, especailly on the Internet. People like residing inside of an echo chamber for the most part. When you have people like karma who blanketly refers to anyone who may view marriage as between a man and a woman as a bigot and a homophobe or pete’s post insinuating that conservatives are dullards who can’t formulate coherent sentences, well, is it really any wonder why righties don’t post?

It’s absolutely fine that this is a largely left-wing forum – it’s good those places exist for those who want them. Not every place of discussion has to be balanced, and that certainly shouldn’t be the end goal of SD.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage: A Great Loss for Moralism

Doubt it. Abortion was made legal fifty years ago and Republicans are still trying to turn that around. They aren’t going to drop the issue of same sex marriage for decades, if ever. Until then it’s going to be a relevant position in politics.

Abortion and SSM aren’t really comparable in that opposition to SSM is a generational think whereas abortion is fairly level across different age groups. Pew found last year that over 60% of young Republicans favor SSM – that number is only going to continue to increase while young Republicans remain pretty pro-life. It’s just not going to be an issue the base of the right is going to care about in 10-15 years making it an irrelevant issue to use as a wedge.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Australia to ban protesting outside abortion clinics

I think this is generally fine, assuming the restrictions are narrowly defined (and the filming should not be permitted in any situations – that’s just douchebaggery). The 150 meters that Tasmania has seems like a pretty reasonable middle ground.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage: A Great Loss for Moralism

issendorf, you’ve offended me plenty in the past

Whew! I was concerned I was posting in vain.

I found the post of his you refer to, and it doesn’t mention Christianity anywhere. I guess I’m a little confused?

It was just an example of someone who would likely have a different opinion of marriage that karma does. Since a hypothetical person was your rationale, I figured I’d pick one that would probably be offended by karma’s diatribe.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage: A Great Loss for Moralism

I don’t want to derail this thread any more, but I invite you all to reread both the SD CoC and the Kong CoC.

1) If you’d be a gem to quote where offending hypothetical users is unallowed, that would be swell rather than simply giving further credence that you pulled the deletion out of your ass. I’ve just re-read them – there’s still nothing in there justifying your censorship.

2) By your own convoluted standards, Karma’s rant referring to those people who view marriage as between one man and one woman (you know, the way marriage has been viewed for centuries) as bigots is somehow ok? Not going to take the time to question how a 13 year old evangelical Christian might feel to be referred to as being a “morass of hate, bigotry, intolerance, bias, discrimination”? Oh right – totally cool to shit on Christians. I guess ad-hominem verbal assaults on evangelicals adds to the conversation? Or are you of the asinine belief that 100% of people who view marriage as one man, one woman hate gays? You can’t have it both ways I’m sorry to tell you.


Do you believe the shift toward acceptance of gay lifestyles will directly lead to a growing acceptance of sexual acts that are currently taboo?

Not sure if it’s a direct causal link, but there will certainly be a much larger acceptance of polygamy during our lifetimes.

In other words, gay marriage is trending toward greater acceptance. Do you feel that is a good thing?

I have no strong feelings about the issue really. I’m more glad that the issue is settled and that it’ll largely no longer be used as a wedge issue by the Dems. Sure, the idiots on the right will still bitch about the decision, but the mainstream folks who have a chance of winning national elections will be pretty much done with the issue.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage: A Great Loss for Moralism

Sure, bestiality COULD happen but unless you’re claiming that there’s a correlation between the cultural acceptance of gay sex and bestiality, then the two things are unrelated.

You’re still the only one talking about bestiality.

Let me ask it again: Do you think that sex between two men is comparable to sex between an adult and a child? Are they related in some way?

Do I now? No. Get back to me in 15-20 years and we’ll see where society’s at.

EDIT: I was a bit sloppy with the term pedophile. Really was simply referring to marriage to someone who is currently a minor. Was more thinking about 16-17 year-olds and not children.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage: A Great Loss for Moralism

Just because gay marriage is legal doesn’t necessarily lead to a broader acceptance of all taboo sex acts.

Did I say that would happen? I’m saying that there’s no reason to think that it can’t happen.

There are sexual taboos and there are sexual TABOOS! Just because gay marriage is legal doesn’t necessarily lead to a broader acceptance of all taboo sex acts. This would suggest that gay marriage is an acceptance of gay sex, and that’s obviously not what it’s about at all. Marriage is about marriage and sex is about sex… and gay sex has been legal in all states since 2003… 12 years ago.

Yes, and the prevalence of sodomy laws should be all you need to know that sex between two men was pretty much as TABOO as sex between an adult and a 15 year old is today.

Is that what you think, issendorf? That sex between two men is comparable to sex with a horse? (Or does it depend on the man’s physiology?)

I don’t, but it seems you believe the comparison has some merit since you’re the one dragging bestiality into this conversation.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gay Marriage: A Great Loss for Moralism

That’s actually not true, issendorf. In fact, it’s not even remotely close to true.

Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. DOMA is less than 20 years old after all.

Namely, homosexuality is consensual whereas pedophilia is not.

That’s only because the age of consent has been (fairly) arbitrarily set at 18. Why not 17? Or 16? Or 14?

I’m not intending to directly compare homosexuals and pedophiles – I’m merely stating that the morality of sex changes over time and there’s no compelling reason, whether it be socially or legally, to think that those other taboo forms of sex may not also see greater acceptance over time.